Community Reacts To Proposed A to F School Report Cards

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

The Virginia Senate approved a measure that would grade school performance with a letter grade from A to F.

This proposal is part of Governor Bob McDonnell's education reform initiatives.

The grading will be based on state and federal accountability requirements.

Those requirements include Standard of Learning test scores and achievement of different groups of students.

The letter grade will also reflect student growth and the school's accreditation.

Betty Miller is the parent of two kids in Rockingham County Public Schools.

She said she doesn't know if the school is accredited. However, a letter grade would help her better understand school performance.

"I think it would be a good idea. It would be interesting to find out," she said.

Miller said the grading could also help make sure every student is learning.

"I think the school my kids go to do a good job but it could hold schools more accountable for how they deal with kids," she said.

However, she doesn't think the grade should be just based on tests.

"They're more worried about test scores than actually teaching. I wouldn't wanna see it do something like that," Miller said.

For Harrisonburg Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Kizner, school performance can't be summarized in one grade.

"We have been talking about safety, we've been talking about nutrition, we've been talking about physical activity. We've been talking about children learning to read, math and write and all of that to bring it to one letter grade. It's silly," Kizner said.

In a statement, Mcdonnell said the report cards help simplify school performance to parents.

He said it will also give schools a chance to encourage more parent involvement.

Kizner said he thinks the letter grade system may confuse parents.

"Parents understand if the schools are accredited or unaccredited. I think if you speak to most parents, they won't know what the difference is between a B or an A, they will know an A is better than a B but they won't really know what it means," Kizner said.

Kizner said he's confident Harrisonburg schools will get good grades, if the governor signs this legislation.

However, he just doesn't think it is the best way to measure learning.

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